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Dodge Dakota Starting Problems



  • First time post. I've owned a '98 Dakota (Club Cab, 5.1, 4x4, Sport) since 10/97. It's been a gem to me except for the last year and a half. It developed a starting problem where I had to let it crank 2-3 times, stop, then start cranking again and it would pop off. Over time, I noticed it took longer when it was moist/humid out (even in the winter). Sometimes it would crank up if I floored the gas. Not so much any more. So far, I've replaced the plugs, wires, the entire distributor and the pickup coil (the starter was replace four years ago) and it's getting progressively worse. It's got to the point where when I know ti's that way outside (sorry, no garage), I'll go out and try it before I get in the shower, then again when I get out of the shower (yes,I have clothers on) and when I'm ready for work, it'll start. Not this morning. It took me and hour and forty minutes to get this thing going, trying every 20 mintues. After an hour and half, my battery was pretty much shot. (I had my battery checked over my lunch break today and it's almost at full cranking capacity.) I've been told the problem is either my fuel filetr, fuel pump or my fule ignition module. Has anyone encountered this and do you have any solutions before I decide to spend the $500-$700 to drop my gas tanks and check the pump/filter thing out? Also, a friend told me last week that Dodge changed their distributors around 2000 so that the FIM was a part it and not a seperate module. I've been trying to Google this bit of info and have come up with nothing. Im just looking for a bit of help here as I really don't want to get rid of my baby. She's treated me great and is still in great condition.
  • 2000 dakota 3.9 liter . replaced engine and need to know how to set up distributor for proper fuel/spark syncronization.
  • It had some starting/idling issues.

    It was a 92 Dakota 3.9 v6 with 168k miles on it. Found out later that some wires under the throttle thing were shorting and thusly causing it to not idle/ stay running on cooler days.

    It was a good truck. I'm disappointed that Dodge shrunk the v6 engine for the newer models however. Because I don't think that improved the gas mileage any.
  • It worked great yesterday AM when a friend drove it away to use it to move some stuff. He filled up the gas tank when done. It was a cold night. Coincidentally, this afternoon when we started it, it acted a little like the battery was dead or something...gave it lots of gas and it started sluggishly. Then stalled...over and over. The exhaust is unusually dark, and possibly is leaking a little coolant now. Any ideas? This is very sudden.

    A little history: A couple weeks ago we had the injectors sonic cleaned, and replaced an arcing spark plug wire. Has worked wonderfully and smoothly ever since.
  • '93 Dakota 3.9L manual trans. Just replaced the intake manifold gasket and both head gaskets, was sucking antifreeze into cylinders. Got the engine back together and took it for a ride, no problems, went back out to go for a ride and it wouldnt start. Got fuel pressure at fuel regulator and just replaced cap and rotor. Runs for a sec on a shot of starting fluid and then dies, turns over, but just no fuel to the cylinders...any ideas?
  • I have the same problems with my 4.7L Quad Dakota. It would not start until about 3-4 cranks. Did you fix yours?? What was the problem. Please let me know at [email protected]
  • Hello, I bought a 1987 Dodge Dakota about 3 weeks ago. When I bought it I put new plugs, wires, cap, button, and battery on it. Went to start it the other day, turned the ignition to the start position and got nothing. Cyled the ignition 6 times and it fired right up. Next morning started fine, went to go to lunch and got nothing, just a clicking noise in a relay on the driver's side fender. So I bought a new one, installed it, still nothing not even trying to start. So I bought a new starter and put it on, 6 hours later after I got it installed, tried to start it and still nothing. When I would turn the key forward the headlights would come on even if the switch was off. All the lights in the dash work, even the interior light. ISo I put a new neutral saftey switch on it, got nothing, bought a block box thats about halway down the steereing colum that the rod for the ignition switch and has wires going into it on the other side, this still didnt fix it.
    Any ideas? Thanks!
  • Dusty,

    i just bought a 2001 automatic dakota from an older gentleman and it ran great for the first few days. it has almost 83k miles on it and about a week ago it started acting up. its hard to start and takes about 5 seconds to crank over if you hold it, but if you let off and try again it kicks over instantly. Sometimes it will start right off the bat and that was in the morning about 8am, but most of the time it takes a good 5 second crank to get it going. Also i was backing out of my driveway and going slow and it died, shut off, stalled or whatever you would like to call it. it started back up after a 5 second crank again. When im going up a driveway or hill going real slow it seems to want to die, but if i get on the gas it dosen't die. It seems to be at random times as im backing up when it decides to die. Do you have any suggestions. i have been told it may be the starter, but i don't want to spend an extra $100 if that is not the problem. I've read some other problems people have had here on the forum and im thinking of replacing the plugs, but not sure what else to do if that dosen't work. Much help would be very much appreciated. Thanks for your time

  • It started intermitant dying out and now ,nothing. I have checked for spark and there is none . Two Dodge dealers shops have given up on it but there must be an answer?
  • I've got a 02 Dakota with a 3.9 V6. I've owned it from about a year and a half now and it's been nothing but a headache. First the heater fan went when it was -35 out last year not happy about that. Then shortly after getting that fixed it quit running $1000 later and it's running, something about 5 or so sensers going at once and it still needs a $800 senser. It ran fine without it for a year now just the engine was on now it'll turn over but won't start do you think it's the same problem as last year? Or should i throw some gas into it with a match?
  • i have a 92 dakota 3.9 V6 and it will start and back fire and die, try again and it starts and back fires when you push the gas down...turn it off and it starts and runs ok...i replaced coil plugs wires cap rotor pick-up coil....and didnt fix my problem any ideas??????
  • I'm trying to change the starter on my 87 v-6 Dakota, and I cant seem to find where its attached to the motor. I removed one bolt at the bottom, and the two that attach the electrical wiring to it, but its still stuck on tight
  • llee2llee2 Posts: 1
    1994 Dodge Dakota - recently replaced engine and new engine (from 2000 Dodge Dakota) will not start. Fuel pump is working (can hear it start and have fuel pressure at engine). Engine will start for a short period when starting fluid is sprayed into throttle body. Any suggestions???????
  • i have a 93 dakota with 3.9 ihave no fuel and no spark. ecm is good , have checked some of the wire harness wires seen finewhat else can i check for thanks lost 11
  • Im having the same starting problem with my 2001 Dakota with the 5.9 liter..
  • Hi ,I have a 5.9 liter in my truck,,it takes at least 2 to 3 times of turning the key to start,,any ideas? Thanks
  • rapunze1rapunze1 Posts: 1
    Disclaimer: I don't speak "truck" or "mechanic".

    My truck won't start. When I turn the key the dash lights come up, but the starter isn't getting the message. It's similar to when the clutch isn't all the way to the floor so there's no reaction - but the clutch is definitely down. :mad:

    My brother in law thought it was a sensor on the clutch, and so by-passed the sensor - rewired it, put an in-line fuses, and it started right up. For a few days. Now it's doing the same thing again. The wire & fuse he put in are fine.

    I can't afford to pay a mechanic $80 a hour to try to track down what's wrong. Has anyone here had a similar problem and can maybe set me on the right track?
  • rmottarmotta Posts: 1
    Have a problem starting a 2006 Dakota - dealer has changed the level sending unit and cluster but still a problem - turns over just won't start.
  • 92 Dodge Dakota will not start. I replaced the computer and the fuel pump. I also had the sparkplugs and fuses looked at, but still nothing. Three mechanics have looked at it and no one has been able to figure out what's wrong. It's something electrical but what.
  • will37will37 Posts: 2
    I have a 2000 Dakota i just recently put in a new motor (used) (180k miles) after switchin out engines and putting on 300 miles i blew the T connector at the radiator cap while on the hightway. Since fixin that part my truck has not been running right.. anybody have any ideas?
  • will37will37 Posts: 2
    I have a 2000 3.9 v6 Dodge Dakota after the radiator hose blew the truck would not start or stay running unless you have the pedal floored. Once you put it in gear the vehicle will die. Does anyone have any ideas about this?
  • damguysdamguys Posts: 1
    I am having the same problem with my vehicle. Did you get it fixed? What did you do? I also have an indication on the instrument panel "BUD" I don't know what that is. No spark and no fuel pump. I can jump the fuel pump relay and force it to run but still no spark. Any help would be appreciated. Damguys
  • i have a 91 dakota with the 5.2 that wont start up. it turns over and its geting fuel.from what i know it doesnt have a crank or cam sensor. ive checked the asd relay and it works fine.i replaced the coil and pick-up coil. still wont start. and there is no power at the positive side of the coil. iv tried to jump a wire from the pos. on the battery to the coil still wont fire. the ignition switch, spark plaugs, distrubitor, and wires are realitively new. ive done everything i cn think of any one else have any idea at all im lost.
  • I had the same problem... I replaced the computer, the coil, module,rotor button & cap. After all that, still the same problem. No spark from the coil!! Turns out that it was a plug from the crankshaft sensor down at the transmission, It was loose and once i took it apart and put it back togeather....Fired up and runs well. I hope that this will help someone =)
  • i've got a 98 dakota with a 2.5l 4 cylinder engine. A few months ago my wife drove to work so i could get her car worked on. The Pick-up died on her. She says there was no warning it just suddenly died. It's a standard tranny so she tried to pop it into gear, it did not start. I replaced to coil, distributor, distributor module, distributor cap, plugs and wires. after all that it finally started and ran great for about a week. I took her car to see if i could get a trade in on a new on(which means she drove my pick-up ...and it died). She says the same thing happened. I can crank it all day long and the most i get is a random jerk as the engine tries to turn over. nothing more. will i have to replace all that stuff again, and hope it runs till after i trade it off, or can anyone tell me a better way to fix the problem?
  • ok replaced neutral safety switch.. truck still no start or no turnover...
    put in new starter.. truck still no cranking just a quiet click.. decided to try and start directly at starter and it started... whats going on here? cant i bypass the relay somehow so i can key start it? this is ridiculous having to start my car from outside... please someone help me...
  • truck cranks, it,s got spark from the plugs and fuel top end but no fire.
    truck was driven fine just change speed sensor on training night before
    it,s just bog out. tested fuel line on top got pressure pull plug got spark from block
  • Fixed. It,s was choke cable
  • Let me start by saying, I know nothing about cars. I am doing this for my husband, He has a 92 dodge dakota, the truck will crank all day, but will not start. He has replaced the computer, distributor, crank shaft sencor, coil, plugs, well just about everything on the engine, he has traced wire, check fuses, and still the truck will not start. Has he missed anything, can anyone help. Thanks, Shannon
  • I have a 2K Dak CC with a 4.7 5 speed and I am having problems with the first start of the day. It cranks for about 10 seconds before starting but then starts immediately for the rest of the day. The battery has just been replaced and the plugs are not very old. I am not throwing any codes. I have tried turning the ignition on for a while before cranking to see if there was any lag with the fuel pump but that has not made any difference. I do not think this is weather related since this began at the end of summer. Aside from this the truck runs great. Anyone have any ideas as to what is causing this?

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